"Everybody who sees you, Bishop Patricia, takes notice." These were the words that Bishop-elect [...]
It was September 2nd and I was travelling for work from Cannon Falls to Austin to Rochester and back home to Cannon Falls. In Rochester, I had been meeting a friend who happened to be moving to Guatemala the following week. Naturally Guatemala was on my mind as I commuted around town. I was also really looking forward to the long holiday weekend as it had felt like I had jumped onto a tread mill at high speed and not slowed down since returning from Guatemala two weeks prior. As I drove, I started reliving my travels with the Spring Garden Lutheran delegation. Our delegation conducted an ILAG Health Promoters Retreat and also a mini medical clinic serving Las Rosas. After the delegation trip I had another week in Guatemala, which I spent working with ILAG for the Task Force as well as travelling to Xela (Quetzaltenago) to visit friends I have grown to know over the last few years from various trips. I was able to see daily life with a candid view and it came to me that the thing I miss most every time I leave Guatemala is the pace of life.
My last trip before this was in January and I had a difficult time transitioning back to my American life -it took a good month or two before I didn't think about Guatemala at least once during the day. This time however, my "busy American lifestyle" hadn't even given me a chance to miss Guatemala after my return; I was like a hamster on a wheel. Work was busy, and coupled with family, meetings, and chasing around, there was no down time. I reflected back to my visit with my friends where I was staying in their homes and living their lifestyle. In Guatemala, family is the utmost priority. Yes, maybe it's a little because they don't have opportunities like we do to belong to groups, or resources to put their kids in activities, but they were together as a family for the majority of the day. It was a good reminder to me - and I hope you will reflect too - that we shouldn't have to feel as though we need to fill our calendar.
Simplifying living can be a great benefit to you and your family. So remember to take a little time to slow down, enjoy, and be thankful for all that we have. Besides, it might also save you a gray or white hair or two (have you noticed Guatemalan's don't go gray as early as we do)!
Spring Garden, Cannon Falls